tv ABC World News ABC February 14, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
welcome to "world news tonight." remembering justice antonin scalia. and now, the battle to replace him. the conservative titan of america's highest court. brilliant, sharp, provocative. his sudden death in an election year. obama vowing to appoint his successor. the republicans saying no way. the new justice could shape the supreme court for a generation. southern brawl. the fiery republican debate in south carolina, the next primary state. the rowdiest, loudest, and angriest yet. >> the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. remember that. arctic express. the bitter blast of sub-freezing cold.
the whiteouts. the accidents. and the new winter storm on the move. 100 million people in the way. and, deadly stunt? the zooming car. then the fiery accident, killing three young women. did a new social media trend, an app that clocks your speed, encourage the young driver to go too fast? good evening. thanks for joining us on this sunday. i'm tom llamas. we begin with the developing news after the sudden death of supreme court justice antonin scalia. he was a powerful conservative voice, dedicated to defending the constitution against what he saw as the nation's liberal drift. his death marks the end of an era. often evenly divided on highly-charged issues.
court, the battle is set. the future and direction of this branch of government at stake. our team is covering it all. we begin with jim avila in el paso, texas, tonight. >> reporter: justice antonin scalia died behind the drawn curtains of this room. peacefully and in his sleep. >> i was a firsthand witness. >> reporter: on this ranch in west texas, scheduled to hunt quail saturday. his body discovered when he skipped both breakfast and lunch. >> he was totally peaceful, he's just didn't wake up. >> reporter: the high-end hunting lodge and ranch was host to an exclusive group of mostly texan couples. famous guest. toured the property, did not join in the hunt, but attended dinner. >> at 9:00 p.m., he said, it's been a long day, had a long
i'd like to be excused. >> reporter: others told investigators they heard the 79-year-old justice mention an illness. the county judge that pronounced him dead over the phone said his doctor in washington told her he'd been ill. the scalia family, his wife, she says objected to an autopsy. and after talking with investigators and u.s. martials on the scene, says she agreed one was not necessary. >> any signs of foul play could have easily caused, that i asked for an autopsy. >> reporter: instead, the death certificate will read natural causes, due to his heart stopping. tom? >> thank you.
than life figure on the bench and off. he fought hard to defend his positions, but he was able to keep the fight from getting personal. terry moran, closely watching justice scalia in action, and reporting on his legacy. >> reporter: for decades, justice antonin scalia led the charge to take constitutional law back, he says, to its original meaning. >> it was not meant to facilitate change. it was meant to impede change, to make it difficult to change. >> reporter: perhaps his greatest triumph, his ruling on the right to bear arms. where he brushed aside concerns about gun violence in america. it's not the role of this court to pronounce the second amendment, he wrote. >> we owe no apology whatsoever
so -- so, there. [ laughter ] [ laughter ] . >> reporter: in dissent, he was biting, caustic, clear. he sneered, we should start calling this law scotus care. and he challenged the idea that the court could create a right to gay marriage. after 200 years of laws banning it. >> when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? when did the law become this? >> reporter: he loved a good argument, but made friends across the political spectrum. friends with ruth bader >> we agree on a whole lot of stuff. knee-jerk stuff. >> reporter: leaving the court shorthanded, and sharply divided, 4-4, on things like affirmative action, and
policies. and one of the justices swings to the liberal side, unpredictably. tom? >> that leads us to our next story. there's so much at stake, but justice scalia's seat looks to be vacant for a while. mitch mcconnell rushed to say the decision should be left to the next president. at least a year. but president obama is vowing to move ahead. here's jonathan karl. >> reporter: the battle lines over justice scalia's replacement on the supreme court were drawn in no time. republican presidential candidate ted cruz tweeting this five minutes the supreme court or scalia's family confirmed he had died. "justice scalia was an american hero. we owe it to him, and the nation, for the senate to ensure that the next president names his replacement." less than an hour later, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell declared, "this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president." but president obama, who praised
consequential thinkers ever to serve on the court, made it clear he's ready to fight over replacing him. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. >> reporter: election year supreme court confirmations are extremely rare. the last president to nominate and confirm a justice in an election year was fdr, 76 years ago. but even then, his party controlled the senate. although scalia became a hero to conservatives and a nemesis to liberals, his own confirmation was entirely uncontroversial. he was approved 98-0. even joe biden voted to confirm him. the battle to replace him will play out in congress and on the campaign trail. it's already happening. >> we should not allow a lame duck president to essentially capture the supreme court in the waning months of his presidency. >> it is outrageous that republicans in the senate and on
pledged to block any replacement that president obama nominates. >> reporter: as for who president obama will nominate, he will likely choose a candidate republicans respect. such as merrick garland, chief judge of the d.c. circuit of court appeals, a moderate who has won praise from republicans. jane kelly, confirmed unanimously by the senate as a circuit court judge in 2013. and finally, sri srinavasan, who was confirmed as a circuit judge 97-0 just three years ago and served in the administration of president george w. bush. he would be the first asian justice. >> jon joins us now from the white house. would it make a difference if president obama would nominate a judge that has already been confirmed? but to a lower court? >> it would certainly give the white house a talking point. but the bar for a supreme court nomination is much higher,
with justice scalia being a conservative icon, and with the potential to switch the balance of power to the liberals. >> and dan abrams is here. without justice scalia, you have eight justices on the bench. decision? that means the lower court decision would stand. that means the case could end up coming before the supreme court again. >> justice scalia and the court were about to hear a case about shutting down abortion clinics. what happens? >> if they were to split, then the lower court opinion would stand. the lower court basically sided with the supporters of the law. that would mean the clinics could come to the supreme court at a later date.
so many people that knew scalia talking about him tonight. but they can not really do him justice. the best way to understand him is to listen to him in his own words. >> a man that has made no enemies is probably not a very good man. >> reporter: a conservative maverick, antonin scalia was never one to run away from a fight. bold, brash, yet poetic in his arguments. >> i love to argue. i've always loved to argue. it may be i am something of a shin-kicker. >> reporter: unafraid to speak his mind. and seemingly incapable of backing down. >> i'm in the business of enforcing democracy. on controversial issues, we persuade each other, and voted on it.
friendships on the bench. >> i've criticized opinions and we've remained friends. just as they've criticized my opinions and we've remained friends. >> reporter: and never losing his step. >> i will certainly retire when i perceive i'm not as good as i used to be. that i've lost a step. >> tonight, justice ginsberg saying, he was a jurist of captivating brilliance and wit. with the rare talent to make even the most sober judge laugh. now, the death of justice scalia, a blow to his friends and family. but also to the conservative movement, the opening topic at last night's republican debate in south carolina. after that, the candidates moved on to an all-out brawl. cecilia vega with the highlights. >> reporter: in a debate filled with fireworks -- >> i'm sick and tired of him going after my family. my dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. [ applause ] while donald trump was building a reality tv show, my brother
apparatus to keep us safe. and i'm proud of what he did. [ applause ] >> the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. remember that. >> reporter: there was one moment of agreement. >> i do not believe the president should appoint someone. >> reporter: the battle to name a new supreme court justice now playing out smack in the middle of the race for the white house. all six gop candidates on that stage calling for justice scalia's replacement to come after president obama leaves office. >> it's called delay, delay, delay. >> i think that we ought to let the next president of the united states decide who is going to run that supreme court with a vote by the people of the united states of america. [ bell ] >> reporter: ted cruz vowing to take the fight to senate floor. >> the senate needs to stand strong and say we're not gonna give up the u.s. supreme court. >> reporter: but that agreement over the supreme court coming to a screeching halt, from a cruz/marco rubio grudge match. >> first of all, i don't know how he knows what i said on
speak spanish. [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: to the word of the night -- >> when you point to his own record he screams, "liar, liar, liar." >> reporter: hurled at one another no less than 13 times. >> you are the single biggest liar. you are the single biggest liar. >> he lied about ben carson in iowa. >> that's another lie. >> lying about all sorts of things. >> that's another lie. >> reporter: and now the focus turns back to the campaign trail. tomorrow is a day of ex-presidents. george w. bush hits the road for his brother for the first time this cycle, and bill clinton is right here. his very first trip to florida so far this race. tom? >> cecilia, thank you. and we do move on to the arctic chill and looming winter storm. temperatures well below freezing in the northeast. feeling much worse. the coldest morning in boston in more than half a century.
below-zero cold. in missouri. part of a storm delivering snow, ice, and heavy rain. phillip mena has it all. driving tonight across the midwest. heavy snow bringing whiteout conditions outside indianapolis. triggering multiple pileups. injuring at least ten. back open tonight after this massive pile-up saturday, killing three and sending dozens to the hospital. that blast of arctic air sending temperatures plunging to lows not seen in years. >> feels like a razor. >> reporter: new york city hitting minus 1 degree, the coldest day in new york city in 22 years. >> it's, like, whipping you in it's like being on a roller coaster. >> reporter: boston even colder -- 9 below -- but feeling like minus 36. for those braving the elements, it was brutal. 150 firefighters battling this fire for hours in philadelphia, the water meant for the flames
car. in new hampshire, 40 people had to be rescued from a mountain tram. the temperature there -- 0. right behind this cold, a mix of snow, ice, and heavy rain pushing east, from the south all the way up the coast. a messy start to the week, but the good news is, this storm is bringing with it relief from this bitter cold. tom? >> a painful type of cold out there. phillip, thank you. still ahead tonight, a feature on a social media app encouraging speeding? a fiery crash, three young women dead. did snapchat play a role? and later, the dramatic rescue of an injured hiker caught on camera. we'll have the latest. i take pictures of sunrises. it's my job and it's also my passion. but with my back pain i couldn't sleep... so i couldn't get up in time.
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app features. and whether it led to a fatal crash. some say it encourages speeding. eva pilgrim tells us about one family who wants to know if it's at least partly to blame for a tragedy. >> one car involved and people are still trapped in the vehicle. >> reporter: three young women, their car, slamming into a tractor-trailer filled with herbicide, bursting into flames. the driver and two passengers, killed. philadelphia police, blaming speed. surveillance video showing the girls speeding by moments before the crash. abc affiliate wpvi now reporting investigators are looking into whether the popular app snapchat also played a role. one victim's uncle says they were using an app. >> one friend said she was snapchatting all night.
what they were doing. >> reporter: he says his niece was using a special filter on snapchat which snaps, or records, their speed. a popular trend he believes encourages people to drive fast and share with friends online. >> the fact that that part of the app is on there seems irresponsible. >> if that happened, it helped to kill my daughter. >> reporter: a snapchat spokesperson telling abc news they take distracted driving seriously, including a do not snap and drive warning message when this geofilter is first accessed. gia's family, now warning others. >> i'm not blaming this for the death of my niece, but i hope someone gets something from this and puts it down while they are in the car. >> reporter: tom, gia's family is planning to subpoena her final snaps in hopes that it helps give them some closure. tom? >> eva, thank you. coming up, finishing what a terrorist attack stopped. eagles of death metal returning to paris, determined not to let the terrorists win. and a hiker injured in the remote mountains of california.
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time now for our "index." and the eagles of death metal finishing the show interrupted by the terrorist attack in paris. the band onstage when gunmen opened fire last november, killing 90 of their fans. the group set to resume that concert on tuesday. survivors of the shooting expected among the sold-out crowd. and frightening moments when a bus filled with teenagers burst into flames. the bus was carrying middle school kids on a ski trip in washington state yesterday when fire broke out. fortunately, everyone was able to get out safely. local troopers say an oil leak may have sparked that fire. and, caught on camera. the rescue of a 69-year-old hiker who fell down a 100-foot ice chute. fellow hikers outside of los angeles found the man struggling after the fall. a chopper hoisted the injured man to bring him to safety. still ahead, it is valentine's day. the secret to staying in love for more than 80 years. plus, the teen with more
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end of the world will be on february 14th in the year 2016. >> valentine's day. bummer. >> reporter: she said her source was an alien. whatever. on with the stunts. we have john and ann betar, both over 100 years old and married 83 years, giving relationship advice on twitter. "we hang onto one another. just a few little hugs and we're fine." we have brian and florestina stewart, a small businessman and a phd holder in organic chemistry, making the waffle house their celebration getaway. >> reporter: and we have a high school senior named hayden godfrey. >> i want to make as many people happy as possible. >> reporter: who gave a flower this week to every single girl in his high school. 800 flowers cost him more than 500 bucks. a gesture appreciated by the recipients. >> i just thought it was so cool. >> reporter: and admired by hayden's girlfriend, too. so, note to aliens. we're still here this valentine's day. so far, anyway. john donvan, abc news, washington. >> we thank john for that story.